JUDAH’S EXILE EXPERIENCE IS OVER AND MANY JEWS ARE NOW MAKING THEIR WAY BACK TO ISRAEL TO RE-ESTABLISH THEIR HOMELAND AND THEIR TEMPLE. SO IF WE CONSTRUCT A TIMELINE, WE FIND THAT THE ENTIRE BOOK OF EZRA ENCOMPASSES A PERIOD OF ONLY ABOUT 80 YEARS. THE STARTING POINT IS THE FIRST YEAR OF KING CYRUS, WHICH IS 538 B.C. AND THE ENDING POINT IS THE 7TH YEAR OF KING ARTAXERXES, A LATER KING OF PERSIA, WHICH IS 458 B.C.
1-14 Ezra wrote:
“These are the names of the family-leaders and the other people who came with me to Jerusalem from Babylon. We came to Jerusalem during the rule of King Artaxerxes.
From the descendants of:
*Shecaniah: Parosh, Zechariah + 150 others,
*Pahath Moab: Eliehoenai son of Zerahiah + 200 others,
*Zattu: Shecaniah son of Jahaziel + 300 others,
*Adin: Ebed son of Jonathan + 50 others,
*Elam: Jeshaiah son of Athaliah + 70 others,
*Shephatiah: Zebadiah son of Michael + 80 others,
*Joab: Obadiah son of Jehiel +218 others,
*Bani: Shelomith son of Josiphiah + 160 others,
*Bebai: Zechariah son of Bebai + 28 others,
*Azgad: Johanan son of Hakkatan + 110 others, *Adonikam: Eliphelet, Jeuel, Shemaiah + 60 others, *Bigvai: Uthai, Zaccur + 70 others.
15I called all these people to meet together at the river that flows toward Ahava. We camped at that place for three days. I learned there were Priests in the group, but there were no Levites. 16So I called these leaders: Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, and I called Joiarib and Elnathan.
(These men were Teachers.)
IN OUR LAST CHAPTER (7) EZRA’S PERSONAL GENEALOGY WAS TAKEN ALL THE WAY BACK TO AARON, SHOWING THAT HE WAS A LEGIT PRIEST, AND NOW HERE IN CHAPTER 8 THE HIGHLY ABBREVIATED FAMILY GENEALOGY OF THE TWO PRIESTLY FAMILIES WHO SIGNED UP TO RETURN WITH EZRA ARE ALSO DESIGNED TO SHOW THEIR CONNECTION GOING BACK TO AARON. PHINEHAS IS THE SON OF ELEAZAR WHO IS THE SON OF AARON, MAKING HIM FROM THE YAHUAH-CHOSEN HIGH-PRIESTLY LINE.
17I sent the men to Iddo, leader in the town of Casiphia. I told them what to say to Iddo and his relatives, who are the Temple workers in Casiphia. I told the men to ask Iddo and his relatives to send us Levites to serve and work in YAHUAH’S Temple. 18And because YAHUAH was with us, they sent Sherebiah, a skilled man from the descendants of Mahli (Mahli was a son of Levi, one of Israel’s sons.) 18They also sent his sons and brothers, men in all. 19They also sent Hashabiah and Jeshaiah
from the people of Merari, along with their brothers and nephews. In all there were 20 men. 20Besides these, there were 220 Temple workers whose ancestors had been chosen by David and his officials to help the Levites. The names of all these men were written on the list.
21There near the Ahava River, I announced that we all should fast. We should fast to make ourselves humble before our Alahim. We wanted to ask YAHUAH for a safe trip for ourselves, our children, and for everything we owned. FASTING IS AN ANCIENT SHADOW-TEACHING OF `IMPALING THE FLESH WITH ALL IT'S LUSTS AND DESIRES' - THE EVERYDAY BATTLE THAT YAHUSHA'S BRIDE FIGHTS TODAY!
22I was embarrassed to ask King Artaxerxes for soldiers and horsemen to protect us as we traveled. There were enemies on the road. The reason I was embarrassed to ask for protection was because of what we had told the king. We had said to King Artaxerxes, “Our Alahim is with everyone who trusts Him, but He is very angry with everyone who turns away from Him.” 23So we fasted and prayed to our Alahim about our trip.
And He answered our prayers.
THE RALLYING POINT FOR THESE MANY JEWISH FAMILIES TO MEET UP AND MAKE FINAL PREPARATIONS WAS AT A PLACE OUR NARRATIVE CALLS THE AHAVA RIVER, A SMALL MANMADE CANAL ATTACHED TO THE EUPHRATES RIVER. FROM THERE EZRA WOULD LEAD THIS GROUP ON A HIGH-RISK TREK OF ABOUT 1600KM, AND IT WOULD TAKE 4.5 MONTHS (IMAGINE WALKING CAIRNS - BRISBANE).
WHILE THE ISSUE OF THE MOTIVATION FOR THE 15 JEWISH FAMILIES SPEAR-HEADING THIS MIGRATION TO JUDAH ISN’T ADDRESSED, THE CIRCUMSTANCES MAKE IT SELF-EVIDENT THAT IT WAS A SUPERNATURAL MOVEMENT OF YAHUAH’S SPIRIT UPON THEM, WHICH (FOR MOST) RESULTED IN A PASSION TO OBEY HIM BY RETURNING TO THE PROMISED LAND HE PROMISED ABRAHAM, ISAAC, JACOB AND SET APART FOR THEM THROUGH MOSES AND JOSHUA. THE SET-APART PROMISED LAND IS NOW THE BRIDAL FELLOWSHIP
OF THE 15 FAMILIES LISTED TO BEGIN CHAPTER 8, THE 2 PRIESTLY FAMILIES NO DOUBT HAD THE GREATEST ENTHUSIASM BECAUSE THEY WOULD FINALLY BE ABLE TO TAKE HOLD OF THEIR YAHUAH-GIVEN HERITAGE AND ROLE AT THE NEW TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM. FOR SEVERAL GENERATIONS (SINCE SOLOMON’S TEMPLE HAD BEEN REDUCED TO A HEAP BY THE INVADING ARMY OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR) THE PRIESTHOOD WAS ESSENTIALLY DEFUNCT AND WITHOUT PURPOSE. THE LOSS OF THEIR STATUS, POWER AND POSITION AMONG THE PEOPLE WOULD HAVE BEEN TERRIBLY DISCOURAGING AND NO DOUBT MANY GAVE IT UP FOREVER AS THEY DEALT WITH THE REALITIES OF 70-100 YEARS OF EXILE IN BABYLON AND THE EVERYDAY MATTERS OF SIMPLY SUPPORTING THEIR FAMILIES.
EZRA INSISTED ON A HIGH-PRIESTLY FAMILY, A COMMON PRIESTLY FAMILY, A NUMBER OF LEVITES, AND 12 REGULAR JEWISH FAMILIES AS THE MAKE-UP FOR THIS GROUP OF MIGRANTS. WHY? IT WAS HIS INTENT TO ABSTRACTLY RELIVE THE EXODUS WILDERNESS JOURNEY.
PARTIALLY IT WAS TO MAKE A POINT TO THE GROUP OF THE IMPORTANCE AND SET-APART NATURE OF THIS ENDEAVOUR, BUT ALSO BECAUSE HE BELIEVED THAT INDEED THIS WAS AN ACTUAL 2ND EXODUS. IT WAS A JOURNEY OF YAHUAH’S PEOPLE FROM A FOREIGN LAND OF CAPTIVITY ...
... TO THE LAND PROMISED TO ABRAHAM SO LONG AGO - AND IT WAS ALSO AN ESTABLISHMENT OF YAHUAH’S DIVINE LAWS AND COMMANDMENTS FOR THE PEOPLE. MOSES HAD RECEIVED YAHUAH'S INSTRUCTIONS IN A FOREIGN PLACE (THE SINAI OF EGYPT) AND IN A SENSE SO DID EZRA (BABYLON). FOR MOSES THE OFFICIAL WRITTEN LAWS HAD NEVER EXISTED BEFORE - AND FOR EZRA IT MIGHT AS WELL HAVE NOT EXISTED BECAUSE IT HAD BEEN THROWN IN THE GARBAGE AND REPLACED BY THE CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS OF EARLIEST JUDAISM.
MOSES WAS THE SUPREME TORAH-TEACHER AND LEADER OF THE ORIGINAL EXODUS, AND EZRA IS NOW THE SUPREME TORAH-TEACHER AND LEADER OF THIS EXODUS. AND THAT IS THE CONTEXT FOR HOW HE, AND WE, NEED TO UNDERSTAND THIS RETURN TO JUDAH. ANYTHING ELSE AND THE POINT IS MISSED!
24Then I chose twelve of the Priests who were leaders. I chose Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brothers. 25I weighed the silver, gold and the other things that were given for YAHUAH’S Temple. I gave them to the twelve Priests I had chosen. King Artaxerxes, his advisors, his important officials, and all the Israelites in Babylon gave those things for YAHUAH’S Temple.
FROM THE BOOK OF NUMBERS 3 AND 4 IT'S CLEAR THAT THE LEVITES (SUPERVISED BY THE PRIESTS) ARE TO BE THE ONLY AUTHORISED TRANSPORTERS AND CARETAKERS OF TEMPLE FURNISHINGS, AND FOR CERTAIN THIS IS WHAT EZRA WAS ENDEAVOURING TO FOLLOW. REMEMBER KING DAVID'S EXPERIENCE WITH THE ARK WHEN NOT HANDLED PROPERLY!
26I weighed all these things. There were 25 tons of silver, also 3450kg of silver dishes and things. There were 4 tons of gold. 27And I gave them 20 gold bowls, which weighed about 9kg. And I gave them two beautiful dishes made from polished bronze that were as valuable as gold. 28Then I said to the twelve Priests: “You and these things are set-apart to YAHUAH. People gave this silver and gold to YAHUAH, the Alahim of your ancestors. 29So guard these things carefully. You are responsible for them until you give them to the Temple leaders in Jerusalem. You will give them to the leading Levites and the family leaders of Israel. They will weigh them and put them in the rooms of YAHUAH’S Temple in Jerusalem.”
30So the Priests and Levites accepted the silver, gold and special things that I had weighed and given to them. They were told to take them to YAHUAH’S Temple in Jerusalem.
31On the twelfth day of the first month (MARCH-APRIL 458 B.C) we left the Ahava River and started toward Jerusalem. YAHUAH was with us, and He protected us from enemies and robbers along the way. 32Then we arrived in Jerusalem. We rested there for three days.
33On the fourth day, we went to the Temple and weighed the silver, gold and special things. We gave them to Meremoth son of Uriah the Priest. Eleazar son of Phinehas was with Meremoth. The Levites, Jozabad son of Jeshua, and Noadiah son of Binnui were with them also. 34We counted and weighed everything and we wrote down the total weight.
35Then the Jewish people who came back from captivity offered burnt offerings to the Alahim of Israel. They offered twelve bulls for all Israel, 96 rams, 77 male lambs, and twelve male goats for a purifying sin offering. All this was a burnt offering to YAHUAH. 36Then the people gave the letter from King Artaxerxes to the Royal Leaders and to the Governors of the area west of the Euphrates River. Then the Leaders gave their support to the Israelites and to the Temple. ( END CHAPTER )
IT IS NOT SURPRISING THAT EZRA’S 'EXODUS TROOP' WERE ANXIOUS TO PRESENT SACRIFICES AND BURNT OFFERINGS AT THE TEMPLE: SOMETHING NONE OF THEM HAD EVER HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF DOING.
AND AGAIN WE FIND THE USE OF THE SHADOW-NUMBER 12 (DIVINE GOVERNMENT & LEADERSHIP - 12 PRIESTS, 12 TRIBES ETC) IS INVOLVED IN THE AMOUNT OF SACRIFICES THAT WERE OFFERED: 12 BULLS, 96 RAMS (12 X 8) AND 12 MALE GOATS. WE ALSO SEE THE SHADOW USE OF THE DIVINE PERFECT NUMBER 7, AS THE NUMBER OF LAMBS OFFERED IS 77 ... WHAT FOR?
THIS IS A SHADOW OF YAHUSHA'S DIVINELY APPOINTED PRIESTS TODAY NOT ONLY BECOMING PERFECT (MATURED) TO OFFER DAILY SACRIFICES (BURNING THE FLESH/DESIRES - OFFERING THEIR BEHAVIOUR/BULLS OF THEIR LIPS ... BUT ALSO BRINGING THE MESSAGE OF 'DELIVERANCE FROM EVIL THROUGH THE BLOOD' ...
TO OTHERS IN NEED - opening the door for them to be clean!
THIS CHAPTER ENDS WITH EZRA DELIVERING THE KING’S WRITTEN ORDERS CONCERNING THE AUTHORITY HE'D GIVEN TO EZRA, TO VARIOUS GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN JUDAH - AND THE UPSHOT WAS THAT THE KING MADE IT CLEAR THAT THESE OFFICIALS WERE TO GIVE EZRA, THE JEWISH PEOPLE IN GENERAL, AND THE TEMPLE THEIR FULL SUPPORT ... AND THEY COMPLIED!
( E X O D U S = S H E M O T H I N H E B R E W )
SHEMOTH: 'NAMES' ... EXODUS 1:1 “NOW THESE ARE THE NAMES OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL WHO CAME TO EGYPT WITH JACOB - THEY CAME EACH ONE WITH HIS HOUSEHOLD…”
YAHUAH KNEW THE NAMES OF ALL HIS PEOPLE IN EGYPT. NOT JUST ONE PERSON, BUT 'EACH ONE WITH HIS HOUSEHOLD.' IN THE BEGINNING OF EXODUS, WE READ THE NAMES OF THOSE WHO CAME DOWN TO EGYPT. EACH OF JACOB'S SONS ARE NAMED, AND THOSE SAME NAMES LATER BECOME THE 12 TRIBES OF ISRAEL (A GROUP OF PEOPLE IN THE NATURAL WHO SHADOW WHAT YAHUSHA IS DOING THROUGH HIS SPIRIT TODAY). IN FACT THE ENTIRE 'BOOK OF NAMES' (EXODUS) DESCRIBES THE STRUGGLES AND TESTS IN THE LIFE OF ISRAEL. BUT FROM THE BEGINNING, YAHUAH KNEW THEM ALL INDIVIDUALLY BY NAME, WATCHING OVER THEM.
'SHEMOTH' (NAMES) WAS TRANSLATED INTO THE GREEK WORD `EXODUS' MEANING 'GOING OUT' AND POINTS TO THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL LEAVING EGYPT.
... NOW SHOOT FORWARD 1000 YEARS TO EZRA LEADING HIS MERRY BAND OUT OF BABYLON, BACK TO THE PROMISED LAND AFTER ISRAEL HAS BEEN JUDGED, DIVORCED AND SCATTERED ...
A 2ND EXODUS SHADOW!
MOSES SAID OF ISRAEL “YOU WILL BECOME UTTERLY CORRUPT, AND TURN ASIDE FROM THE WAY WHICH I HAVE COMMANDED YOU. AND EVIL WILL BEFALL YOU IN THE LATTER DAYS, BECAUSE YOU WILL DO EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF YAHUAH, TO PROVOKE HIM TO ANGER THROUGH YOUR BEHAVIOUR”.
“FOR THAT DAY IS GREAT, SO THAT NONE IS LIKE IT - AND IT'S THE TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE, BUT HE WILL BE DELIVERED OUT OF IT”. (JACOB = THE BRIDE)
“A DAY OF TROUBLE IS NEAR. … MY EYE WILL NOT SPARE, NOR WILL I HAVE PITY - FOR I WILL REPAY YOU ACCORDING TO YOUR BEHAVIOUR”.
“IT WILL COME TO PASS IN THAT DAY THAT YAHUAH WILL SET HIS HAND AGAIN (THE SECOND TIME) TO RECOVER THE REMNANT OF HIS PEOPLE … AND WILL ASSEMBLE THE OUTCASTS OF ISRAEL … FROM THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH”. (THIS HAS BEGUN)
“I WILL BRING THEM BACK, BECAUSE I HAVE MERCY ON THEM. THEY WILL BE AS THOUGH I HAD NOT CAST THEM ASIDE … I WILL WHISTLE FOR THEM AND GATHER THEM, FOR I WILL REDEEM THEM AND THEY WILL INCREASE AS THEY ONCE INCREASED”.
“AT THAT TIME I WILL BRING YOU BACK … FOR I WILL GIVE YOU FAME AND PRAISE AMONG ALL THE PEOPLES OF THE EARTH, WHEN I RETURN YOUR CAPTIVES BEFORE YOUR EYES,’ SAYS YAHUAH”.
"ALL THE SINNERS AMONG MY PEOPLE WHO SAY THAT NOTHING BAD WILL HAPPEN TO THEM - WILL DIE BY THE SWORD. AND IN THAT DAY I WILL RAISE UP DAVID'S PRAISE TENT THAT HAS FALLEN DOWN, (OPEN PORTAL-DOOR ACCESS TO YAHUSHA'S THRONEROOM) AND CLOSE UP IT'S BREACHES AND I'LL RAISE UP IT'S RUINS, AND BUILD IT AS IN THE DAYS OF OLD: SO THAT MY PEOPLE WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME MAY POSSESS THE REMNANT OF EDOM, AND OF ALL THE HEATHEN (IE... THE ENEMY) ... SAYS YAHUAH WHO DOES THIS". (POSSESS - HAVE POWER OVER THE ENEMY!)
“I WILL TAKE YOU OUT OF THOSE NATIONS, GATHER YOU TOGETHER, AND BRING YOU BACK TO YOUR OWN LAND - HOME / FAMILY / FELLOWSHIP / LOVE. THEN I WILL SPRINKLE PURE WATER ON YOU AND MAKE YOU CLEAN - WATER OF HIS LIVING WORD. I WILL WASH AWAY ALL YOUR FILTH OF IDOLATRY AND MAKE YOU PURE AGAIN - IMMERSION. I WILL ALSO PUT A NEW SPIRIT IN YOU TO CHANGE YOUR WAY OF THINKING AND BEHAVING. I WILL TAKE OUT THE HEART OF STONE FROM YOUR BODY AND GIVE YOU A NEW TENDER HEART - NEW SPIRIT & HEART. THEN I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT INSIDE YOU AND TRANSFORM YOU SO THAT YOU CAREFULLY OBEY MY COMMANDS - IMPLANTED INCORRUPTIBLE SEED. THEN YOU WILL LIVE IN THE LAND THAT I GAVE TO YOUR ANCESTORS - ISRAEL - THE BRIDAL CITY/PEOPLE. YOU WILL BE MY PEOPLE, AND I WILL BE YOUR ALAHIM. ALSO, I WILL DELIVER YOU AND KEEP YOU FROM BECOMING UNCLEAN" - HEBREWS 12 TRAINING.
JUST AS HE DID WITH THOSE IN THE FIRST EXODUS, YAHUSHA WILL MAKE A BLOOD-COVENANT WITH HIS PEOPLE (EZEKIEL 20). BUT THIS TIME YAHUSHA WILL OFFER THE IMPLANTED SEED OF HIS ETERNAL SPIRIT TO THEM ... AND THROUGH A DIVINE HEART OPERATION AND NEW TRANSFORMED BEHAVIOUR, THIS REMNANT BRIDAL PEOPLE WILL REPRESENT YAHUSHA ON THIS EARTH.
MANY BELIEVE THAT THEY WILL BE GATHERED IN SOME SORT OF RAPTURE AND NOT HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE GLOBAL TRIBULATION (WHICH HAS BEEN HAPPENING FOR CENTURIES) ... WHILE OTHERS ARE LEADING THEIR FOLLOWERS BACK INTO THE GEO-POL ISRAEL CRISIS IN SOME VAGUE ATTEMPT TO REGATHER THE LOST TRIBES OF ISRAEL AGAIN ...
IT'S BLIND STUPIDITY ... ALL OF IT !!!
AS REVELATION EXPLAINS, RELIGION IS CRUMBLING ALL OVER THE WORLD AND ALL THE SIGNS OF THE END ARE NOW PREVALENT AS YAHUSHA'S WRATH POUNDS AGAINST THIS EARTH AND ALL THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO REMAIN A SLAVE TO THE BEAST SYSTEM.
WE ARE NO LONGER DELIVERED BY LAMBS BLOOD, THRU THE RED SEA, BUT BY YAHUSHA'S BLOOD AND THE WATERS OF IMMERSION (AND HIS WORD).
WE ARE NO LONGER GATHERED TO A MOUNTAIN TO RECEIVE LAWS ON STONE WRITTEN BY THE FIREY FINGER OF YAHUAH - BUT HAVE THEM ACTUALLY WRITTEN ON OUR NEW SOFT HEARTS BY THE BURNING FIRE OF HIS SET-APART SPIRIT WITHIN .
WE ARE NO LONGER SERVING AT AT A MAN-MADE TABERNACLE/TEMPLE BUILDING AS EARTHLY PRIESTS BUT CALLED INTO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK TO PERFORM SUPERNATURAL ACTS AND BEHAVIOURS AT THE DIRECTION OF YAHUSHA HIMSELF.